Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting in the flow (of yoga)

I started off yoga in a very anatomy/alignment based, no-flow Iyengar class. I was hooked. My teacher was...not as understanding of anatomical obstacles as I found out she should have been or could have been. With my tight shoulders and lats, she'd put a belt around my arms in Down Dog and a blanket under my arms when we were lying in Corpse pose with our hands stretched overhead. Her advice for my upper body limitations: a flatter pillow at night and practicing Down Dog for 5 minutes at a time. I loved her because she taught me the basics of alignment that I really haven't gotten as in-depth since. I loved her because she is who ultimately made me go looking for more yoga (the class was only once a week) and closer to work (I had to travel 45 minutes to get there).

Enter Darling Yoga. Initially I got a two week pass. Went about everyday until the pass was up. And then nothing. I decided I couldn't afford it or thought, how I could possibly fit yoga into my schedule like that. And all the bad things that yoga was "curing" in me—sciatica, muscle spasticity (thanks MS! you're the best!), and just general aches and pains from sitting at the computer all day—came back. Not to mention I was weaker and felt unhealthy.

So I made the decision. It was do or die—or rather kill this body that's a ticking time bomb. I bought a yearly unlimited pass. It was the best thing I ever did in my life, next to marrying my husband.

Flow was new to me. And forget about breathing. I didn't understand "on an inhale, look up, exhale fold." I was huffing and puffing like a train, until one day, something happened. I started focusing on my breath instead of the pose. (One of my favorite teachers always says: Hold the pose, not your breath.)

For me yoga is happening in phases: 1. Alignment, 2. Learning the asanas and flowing, and 3. Breathing. I would say the phase I'm in right now is Going Outside My Comfort Zone and Practicing Crazy Beautiful Poses Incorporated with Flow.

Yoga takes time. Until then, go with the flow. (Pun intended. Wink.)

1 comment:

  1. So enjoyed your post. Also, really appreciated your comments on the yoga tote bag. I love your suggestion and will work on something. When I finish the pattern, would love to have you "test drive" it.